Artificial Neural Networks in Medicine and Biology

Abstract

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are new mathematical techniques which can be used for modelling real neural networks, but also for data categorisation and inference tasks in any empirical science. This means that they have a twofold interest for the philosopher. First, ANN theory could help us to understand the nature of mental phenomena such as perceiving, thinking, remembering, inferring, knowing, wanting and acting. Second, because ANNs are such powerful instruments for data classification and inference, their use also leads us into the problems of induction and probability. Ever since David Hume expressed his famous doubts about induction, the principles of scientific inference have been a central concern for philosophers

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